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Possibilities, Choice, and Power

Power = Conscious Possibilities + Conscious Choice Power is the result of combining possibilities with conscious choice. Where there are no conscious possibilities choice is not possible. In circumstances where there is only awareness of possibility and no opportunity to take action based on those possibilities, there is no conscious experience of power. When both possibilities and the ability to act on them exist consciously, then power is experienced. Force is often confused with power.

Force is energy. The amount of energy applied to any choice amplifies the effects the choice has on the individual and the environment the individual effects with their chosen action. Increasing power without expanding possibilities leads to dependence on force as opposed to applying consciousness toward the development of alternative possibilities.

A good example of the difference between force and power is the Cuban missile crisis. Huge quantities of force were available to both Russia and the United States in the form of a large supply of intercontinental ballistic missiles armed with nuclear weapons. If either side had not recognized that there were potential courses of action other than making a decision to rely on amplification of force and launch these weapons none of us would be here today. Both leaders fortunately recognized that there was more than one possible course of action, that expansion of conscious possibilities is power. Many hard liners on both sides of the decision making process were convinced that there was only one possible course of action. Their thinking was something like, the other side will launch, and we need to beat them to the punch. They did not see multiple possibilities; they had only force to work with. Kennedy and Khrushchev had awareness of more than one possibility, that power allowed them to make one of the best moral decisions in human history.

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